Directors Bio 3471 2756


Dr. Azucena M. Dayanghirang is an experienced public health leader. For the past 29 years, she has been a facilitator and a trainer for various health programs particularly on Maternal Child Health and Nutrition. She has served the people of Davao as City Nutrition Action Officer from 1991-1995; Chief of the Technical Services Division and Medical Officer VI of Davao City Health Office from 1996 to 2005; as well as the Provincial Health Officer II and Provincial Nutrition Action Officer of Davao del Sur from 2008 to 2016.

During her stint in the local government, she led the City Nutrition Committee in the planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of health and nutrition programs. She initiated the “Fresh Milk Supplemental Feeding Program,” which led to the reduction of protein-energy malnutrition among 0-6-year-old children. She also successfully lobbied for the regularization of 32 Nutritionist-Dietitians deployed in the 16 Districts of Davao City in 1996.

In 2016, she was elected as the National President of the Nutrition Action Officers' Association of the Philippines (NAOPA), Inc. Shortly after, she was appointed as Deputy Executive Director of the National Nutrition Council (NNC), an attached agency of the Department of Health, Philippines. In August 2019, Dr. Dayanghirang was appointed as the Executive Director of the NNC. Currently, she is designated as the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Philippines Government Focal Point and most recently, appointed as a member of the Executive Committee of the Global Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement representing Asia and Papua New Guinea.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte signed the appointment of Dr. Dayanghirang to Career Executive Service Officer (CESO) Rank III effective 3 December 2020. Recently, she was upgraded to Executive Director IV with the rank of Assistant Secretary as approved by President Duterte through Executive Secretary Salvador C. Medialdea on 21 July 2021.

0412 LGA and NNC

With the goal of promoting the national nutrition agenda by strengthening capacity development for the local government sector, the National Nutrition Council (NNC) and the Local Government Academy (LGA) signed a three-year agreement on 11 April 2022 and established an institutional partnership that aims to align and harmonize all capacity development initiatives at the national and local levels, towards a unified direction of strengthening local governance. Both the LGA and NNC are committed to the goal of eliminating all forms of malnutrition, which is in line with the United Nations' Sustainable Goals and Ambisyon Natin 2040.

Given their essential role in nutrition improvement, local government units are encouraged to join the LGA and NNC to bring nutrition to the forefront of development. With this partnership, local government units will be able to boost their ability to adopt and administer nutrition policies, programs, and activities, as well as standardize the delivery of nutrition-related capacity-building initiatives. Additionally, the agreement also aims to persuade local governments to prioritize the nutrition agenda in local planning and budgeting, with assistance in implementing the upcoming Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition 2023-2028, as well as the full devolution of services mandated by Executive Order 138 and the Mandanas-Garcia Supreme Court ruling. 

LGA Executive Director Thelma Vecina was joined by Assistant Director Esmeralda Daphne Purnell, and NNC Assistant Secretary and Executive Director Azucena M. Dayanghirang was joined by FMD Chair Ms. Rossana Quillope in signing the agreement. The LGA, the NNC, and numerous local government units were also present for the virtual signing ceremony.


Author: OED - Pam Pescador